In a battle between the most disheveled teams in the NBA, the Charlotte Bobcats, the owners of an embarrassing 4-31 record, defeated the Orlando Magic, who are trying to convince Dwight Howard to stay in Orlando.
Despite possessing a lead of 20 points early in the game, the Magic failed to deliver in the second half as the Bobcats rallied to pull off a remarkable win.
Starting small forward Corey Maggette scored a season-high 29 points off 9-of-17 shooting. However, the real story of the night was the fantastic play of rookies Kemba Walker and Bismack Biyombo.
Walker chipped in with nearly a double-double with 10 points and eight assists. His most important contributions don't show up on the stat sheet, however, as he provided clutch plays in the fourth quarter.
Biyombo also had a stellar night in Charlotte. The Congolese rookie went toe-for-toe with the NBA's best center, as he had a Serge Ibaka-esque game with 10 points, 15 boards and seven blocks. Not bad for the youngest player in the NBA.
The Orlando Magic, who have battled consistency and energy issues all season, did not show up to play in this regular-season matchup. After a close win versus the dismal Toronto Raptors, the Magic were dismantled in the second half. In fact, O-Town only scored 36 points in the entire second half.
One of the many reasons for the Magic's team woes is the lack of production from starters Hedo Turkoglu, Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson. Neither of these three veterans scored in double figures versus the Bobcats while big men Ryan Anderson and Dwight Howard kept this team somewhat competitive.
Neither Howard or Anderson excelled, however, as the Bobcats kept both of Orlando's leading scorers in check. Howard only had 15 points and 17 rebounds, while Anderson scored 14 points on 2-of-10 three-point shooting.
Turnovers were another problem that caused Orlando's downfall. During Tuesday night's game, the squad racked up 18 turnovers compared to Charlotte's 12.
In the end, this devastating loss does not bode well for Orlando's chances for keeping Howard. After all, barely winning versus the Toronto Raptors and losing to the Charlotte Bobcats definitely raises question marks. Many expected the Magic to steamroll these two bottom-dwellers.
Nonetheless, this is only one game and there are still 26 matchups in the regular season to go. However, these losses do not inspire confidence going forward, as the Magic's next game is Thursday, March 6 against the elite Chicago Bulls.